Apr 5, 2011

Crow Peak Pile O’ Dirt Porter

This is a review of a promotional sample received from the brewery.

This can of Crow Peak’s porter, Pile O’ Dirt, arrived the other day with the tasty IPA that I reviewed yesterday. While that IPA was pretty good, this 6.0% ABV robust porter was excellent!

Dark, roasty and earthy, I cannot think of a more appropriate name for this brew. It very much is like drinking a liquified pile of dirt. That may not sound very complimentary, but the earthy character to this beer is undeniable, yet not overbearing.

Crow Peak Pile O DirtNow, that’s a dark porter.

I usually do my best to remain as impartial to these complimentary samples as possible and rarely gush over a product, but this is a beer that I would certainly go out of my way to find — although a trip from Virginia to South Dakota and back again may be seen as excessive. If this brew were available locally, it would certainly be a go-to beer for cold winter nights.


Pouring nearly black, this brew looks more like a stout than a porter. The smallish tan head faded quickly.


Rich and roasty with a heavy earthiness to it, Pile O’ Dirt also has hints of chocolate, espresso and a low hop presence. I love the burnt malt character to the nose on this beer.


Oh man, this is a good porter. I’m really liking the lightly burnt, roasty malts that dominate this beer up front as light hints of chocolate and coffee come in as the beer transitions to a light, drying bitterness in the finish. I love when a porter reminds me of smoking a cigar and this is one such brew — the earthy character and the roast combine wonderfully. Not quite full bodied, Pile O’ Dirt goes down pretty darn smoothly without a sign of any alcohol.


This brew isn’t going to be fore everyone. It’s not nearly as campfire smokey as Sierra Nevada’s 30th Anniversary Stout, but it’s pretty close despite the difference in style. It’s certainly an earthy porter with an excellent roast (that does dominate the palate a little). If that’s what you’re looking for in a robust porter, then I would highly recommend grabbing a can or two if you’re in South Dakota any time soon.

Rating: 4.25/5

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